More of Chicago

I’m baaaack!

Wow our first ever GBD quick 2-day jaunt to the Chicago International Quilt festival turned into an extra two days of time away from home for me. But the ice at the Buffalo airport finally dissipated and I’m trying to get caught up on my pay-the-bills job and my auctioneering side hustle (big event scheduled for this Saturday).

Some of the highlights from the trip for me:

It was so much fun to be in the presence of others who share our passion! Everyone was so friendly and open about their best tips and their quilting life.

Machine quilting classes – Cindy and I took two classes from two different instructors. Our first class was on Thursday afternoon with Cindy Walters. The class room was set up with Baby Lock machines.

IMG_1672[1]They were so easy to use and, well, who doesn’t love a brand-new sewing machine that someone else has schlepped to the location and thoughtfully threaded? Instructor Cindy helped us create a quilt sandwich, then we drew on a 9 square grid. Next she walked us through 9 different quilting motifs and we just quilted, quilted, quilted for two hours. It was exhilarating to look back at each grid square and realize that we were, in fact, quilting. Of course, our patches weren’t perfect, but at the end of the class, I really felt like I would be able to tackle a small project.


This is Cindy learning how to quilt pebbles.

On Friday, we used the same Baby Lock machines for a fearless machine quilting class taught by Charlotte Angotti. She is irreverent and engaging and we got to practice with some spectacular thread from Superior Threads. We talked a lot about machine quilting threads in both of the classes. We’ll share more in a later post.

Oh, and of course I bought some fabric on the show floor.


I also bought some thread, including some pre-wound bobbins to experiment with (I’m never happy with my bobbin winding skills).


This booth from Wonderfil Threads was amazing. The gentleman in the picture (sorry, I forgot his name) was fantastic. He gave us an on-the-spot tutorial on making machine quilting thread decisions. This alone was worth the trip.

I snagged some freebees too, including a cloth bag.

I also found an adult beverage (or two).


We ate a slice of carrot cake the size of a basketball.


We admired some truly amazing quilts. I was hesitant to take lots of pictures of  the show because I thought we weren’t supposed to, but then I realized that everyone else was, so I took a few. Here is one of my modern favorites. It’s called Eichler Homes



Now its time to sew, sew, sew (as soon as Saturday’s big auction event is over).

Oh – did I mention it’s snowing again???


10 thoughts on “More of Chicago

  1. Meg our-house-quilts says:

    You’ve certainly had some weather! Sounds like the trip was well worth it. Keep on with that quilting, you’ll be amazed how much improvement comes with practice. A friend of mine did 20 mins practice per day for a year, and her quilting is amazing.

    • sandradny says:

      Meg — I keep thinking that I need to set myself up on a schedule — great idea your friend has. I’m thinking that I might need another machine so I can keep one properly threaded for quilting. How do you manage your machine quilting?

      • Meg our-house-quilts says:

        I forgot to say that the friend I referred to has a sweet 16 set up for only quilting. That makes the practising a lot easier. I have spurts of quilting. Straight line is the easiest with a walking foot (Bernina). When I do true FMQ (not so often) I notice the improvement from the beginning of the quilt to the end.

  2. Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

    “Irreverent and engaging”…sounds like fun. I would have made the trip for the cheesecake!
    Sorry to hear it is still snowing.
    Please let me know if you like those prepared bobbins. I was looking at some the other day and was wondering if it was worth it.
    With this #100 day project, I find that I am practicing my FMQ. I still find it frustrating, but I see improvement just with the regular practice.

    • sandradny says:

      Chela — I’ll be sure to let you know about the bobbins. Thread is a topic I need to learn more about — I didn’t know how much I didn’t know!

      • Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

        Me too! I haven’t formally researched, but I’m learning things by trial and error. I did see a review on thread where three. Types of thread were out under a microscope and I couldn’t believe the difference.

  3. Becca // Pretty Piney says:

    That’s an ENORMOUS piece of cake! Looks like you had a great time, and I’m glad you took the time to take a couple of classes. It’s always worthwhile, especially when you get to try new machines and thread that you otherwise might not have the opportunity to. Coincidentally, I bought some of that same yellow and green fabric yesterday for my son–those are his favorite colors, and I’m hoping he’ll be inspired to start his second quilt with it.

  4. rl2b2017 says:

    I’m glad to hear that Cindy made it back home safely! Ugg – to ice and more snow. Seriously?! I hope this is the last of it. What wonderful classes you were able to take! The discussion on the thread sounds like it was worth the price of admission alone. I missed the show this year, but it sounds like I should definitely take some hands-on quilting classes next year. Two hours of hands on practice sounds divine! ~smile~ Roseanne

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